Frihip James Batcher was born on August 30th, 1983 in Coalticuli, Boreo, to parents Charles and Flora Batcher. His father, Charles, was a Colonel in the Imperial Legion at the time of his birth and his mother was a forensic accountant, working for a well known crisis management group. He attended West Coalticuli Baccalaureate for Years 1-5, and Xiāna Preparatory Academy for Years 6-10, graduating with honors in Political Science and Governance. He attended Xiāna College from 2003-2007, earning a Bachelor's of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Biochemistry, also serving as Valedictorian of his class.
He met his husband, Ryder Waverly, at Xiāna Preparatory in 1997 and later began a romantic relationship with him by the end of their 8th Year. In January of 2007, the couple of almost seven years married in a ceremony near Coalticuli, most notably the Grand Duchess at the time, Emilia Calloway was in attendance, along with her father, Emperor Thomas. They currently have an adopted 12-year old son, August Batcher-Waverly. The couple currently have a home purchased in Xiāna, where Batcher's constituency is located.
In 2009, Batcher ran, and won, a by-election for the empty seat representing Xiāna-East, which at the time, was being held by a Liberal-Democrat for seven elections straight. His challengers: Earnest Zebulos (N), Fredrick Wells (L-D) and Samantha Clover (C), were much more expected to win, with Batcher polling as low as 6% by some tallies.The Centrist Party, however, ran an emerging campaign and was able to secure 29% of the vote, placing him in a run-off with Conservative candidate Samantha Clover. He was expected to lose by twenty points when allegations came that Clover was at the center of a fraud investigation, which she vehemently denied. The allegations were enough to tip the election in favor of Batcher, who won by less than five hundred votes, in what was seen as one of the greatest upsets in modern Borean politics. He won his reelection against Clover again in 2010, securing a wide margin of almost 61% of the vote.
2011 Centrist Party Leadership ConferenceEdit
From June 5-8th, the Centrist Party held its biannual Leadership Conference in Collinsburg, where it decided the leadership and changes, addendum or repeals of the Party's national platform for the next election. Batcher gave the Conference's Keynote Speech, calling on much needed reforms and change to win the next election.
The Conference was marked by long-time Secretary of the Centrist Party, Neville Rodgers, stepping down from his position after fourteen years. A leadership race ensued, pitting front man William Hastings, a popular Centrist Party figure, against four other candidates, including Batcher himself. After the first three rounds of voting, Hastings had 50.8% of the vote, while Batcher had 49.2%, resulting in a virtual deadlock, as the new Secretary needs at least a supermajority (2/3) to be elected. After two more rounds of voting, which continued, an appeal was made to the Standing Committee of the Centrist Party, and after a meeting, Batcher was elected as Party Secretary by a vote of 6-3, the first time a leader wasn't given the leadership position. This was met by controversy as some Party members appealed the decision, but was denied. When asked about the decision, the head of the Committee, George Towers, said: "Though we made a decision against the majority will of our Party, we recognize that times are changing, and we need fresh faces to lead us into a new generation of voters and new generation of Boreans, and Frihip was that choice." When he was sworn in on the last day of the Conference, Batcher became the youngest Secretary in the Party's history.
By early March of 2012, the national elections were in full swing. In January, the Liberal-Democrats held their national conventions, and elected Hazel Lancaster, a three-term Senator representing the Hallow Point constituency as their Secretary. The move was speculated in the media that the 42-year-old was picked to rival the much younger Secretary of the Centrist Party in the polls come October, but it was denied furiously by the Party's Standing Committee.
The first debate of the election season was held in Gatlass Fields, on June 15th, to a crowd filled with university students from nearby Boreo University- Liwens. It pitted Batcher against Lancaster and the Secretaries of the Nationalist and Conservative Parties- Tim DeCooke and Dalton Kilnspot. The debate was a landslide victory for the Lib-Dems and the Centrists, who agreed on more moderate approaches to Defense and Foreign Affairs, in lieu of harsh comments made by Nationalist DeCooke.
In September, almost a month before elections, the Lib-Dems and Centrists agreed to an alliance for the next parliamentary session. It came after polls found that the Centrist Party polled about 35% nationally- compared to the Lib-Dem's 27%, which would be a landslide for the Centrists, who haven't held the Chancellory since 1948, and that the Lib-Dems could possibly lose the Chancellory for the first time since 1992, when it was under Nationalist Bill Lorriane.In mid-October, less than two weeks from Election Day, the final debate was held in Port Bartholomew- the largest port in Boreo, to a crowd of over eighty thousand people. The debate was marred in the Conservative and Nationalist Secretaries punching it out on live TV, for which they were expelled from participating in any televised debate for the next five years by the Ministry of the Interior.
Polls opened on October 26th at 5:30 BST, and they closed in rural constituencies at 17:30 BST, and at 20:00 BST in urban constituencies. The Nationalists gained a small lead with 1% of the vote counted with 37%, but that was soon diluted as urban and other Centrist and Conservative leaning constituencies started to count their tallies. By 23:00 BST, the Centrists had an eleven point lead over the Lib-Dems.
Around 2:24 BST, Borean Television, and the Amaethon Times both called the election as a win for the Centrists within seventeen minutes of each other. In Batcher's victory speech, he said this:
"It is time for reform, my brothers and sisters. Boreo is growing. Our education is lacking, unemployment currently affects 13% of our country. Poverty levels are at its highest in over a 140 years. How long must we see ineffective policies waste away at our infrastructure, our human talent, our Borean spirit? How long must we suffer under economic policies to which we are so husband? We are not perfect, nor were we ever meant to be. The Senate will no longer be shrouded in mystery and wonder, nor will the Chancellory. It is time for transparent governance, time for an informed electorate. These next four years will be different. They will not be seen as a Centrist government, nor a Coalition government. No, it will be a People's government, and one I will dedicate my four years as a representative of the people to do as such.
Frihip Batcher was sworn in on the 1st of November, 2012 on the steps of Livingstone Palace, where the offices of the Chancellor are held, as well as their official residence. He was also the first one in seven consecutive terms to be sworn in with a copy of the Constitution, instead of a Bible, or holy book.His inauguration address, held in temperatures of 12 degrees Fahrenheit (-11 degrees Celsius) was one of the most attended on record, with over ninety-seven thousand Boreans crowding into the forty-seven acre West Garden, where he held his speech:
I cannot promise you that you will like these changes I will lay out. I will slash our Defense budget, and I will cut many, many tax cuts that have been kept in place since the failed administration of Chancellor Lorraine. We will see taxes rise on the highest earners, and we will slash taxes for our lowest earners. Boreo will look outward the next four years as we try to help our neighbors who still struggle with the economic crisis of the last four years. Unemployment levels are unacceptable, and minimum wage is now being lowered in many of our provinces. We cannot keep this system of injustice that has governed our politics for the past twenty years.
These next four years will be a revolution. We will reform our education practices, we will reform our tax code. We will make sure the highest 5% of earners pay their fair share. My government will make sure that corporate tax breaks are a thing of the past, and we will make sure that our poorest Boreans will be able to finally rise out of abject poverty, and where they can live in a society that stands for the principles it preaches!
Chancellor Batcher's Centrist-Liberal Democrat coalition hold 237 seats in the 380-member Senate, and with the United Communist Movement (UCM) supporting the majority of the coalitions's proposed legislation, it gives the coalition an outstanding super-majority of 67.37% in the Senate, the first time that has happened since the Borean-Azelian War in the late 18th Century.
Chancellor Batcher, in his first ninety days as Chancellor, passed a record number of bills, 133, all of which passed easily.
Chancellor Batcher is considered a private person, who practically refuses to discuss his private and personal life with reporters. In a tell-all interview in August of 2013, he spoke to the Amaethon Times about some of his personal life. He said this:
Ryder and I are quiet. I like my fiction and biographies, he prefers the romances and mysteries. The entire family is huge fans of the BFL (Borean Football League). We all go for the (Xiāna) Winchesters, and I cannot begin to tell you how many times I've debated with the Empress over who's better: FC Lizan, or the Winchesters.
The Chancellor is the god brother of Empress Emilia, and served as best man during her wedding of then-Prince David Astoria at Verony Cathedral, as well as the godfather of the Emperor's and Empress's three children. He is married to Ryder Waverly, a junior specialist on international economics and law for the Coreolis Group, one of the largest trading firms in Mazeria. They adopted a child together, August Batcher-Waverly, in 2006, who's now fifteen. The Chancellor is also descended from Karrick Wintergreen, a privateer who was successful in breaking the Azelian blockade of the Borean-Minkal Gulf during the Borean-Azelian War of the 18th Century.